New effort underway to enroll more California students tuition-free

Sep 19, 2017

California's community college system wants to boost the number of low-income students taking advantage of the state's free tuition option. To get the word out, the state is re-branding the program as the "Promise Grant." 

The campaign was presented Tuesday at a California Community Colleges' Board of Governors meeting in Los Angeles. Rhonda Mohr is with the system, and she said many students are eligible for the tuition waiver, but just don't realize it's available.

"There's no cap on the amount of funds that the state will contribute toward this program, so as many students as are eligible, will get the program," Mohr said.

Mohr said qualification for the program is based on financial needs and is not limited by age, academic merit, or attendance status. The program currently provides about one-million students with free tuition, nearly half the system's total enrollment.

San Luis Obispo County's Cuesta College has offered a free first year to all high school graduates in the county since 2014. Earlier this year, the college's administration began a campaign to raise funds to extend the Cuesta Promise to a second year.